Circle trail construction in last stretch

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The city of Wichita Falls is in the final stages of a 30-year project.

The Circle Trail first broke ground in 1987, and thanks to grants, they will now be able to complete it.

Sisters Darlene Hankins and Connie Ford drive from Bowie once a week to ride the Circle Trail with their bikes.

"I like the nature and the safety of the lake," said Ford.  "We can stop to rest and just look at the beauty every few miles," said Hankins.

30 years ago, the Parks and Recreation Department of Wichita Falls got the idea to build a trail that would wrap around the city.

"A lot of cities have the funding to do 15 to 20 miles at a time," said Wichita Falls mayor, Stephen Santellana.  "We do not have that luxury, so for me to be able to be in my position and represent the citizens and be able to complete this 24 miles trail, it is pretty exciting."

In October, the city was awarded the Transportation Alternative Grant from the Texas Department of Transportation to help finish the project.

"We are just very excited that all of those pieces fell into place and the money came through," said Santellana.  "We scrambled for our portion of it, and we are going to make it happen."

Geoffery Martin moved to Wichita Falls from Dallas and walked the trail for the first time.

He says he has never seen anything like it.

"Usually you just see certain parts, and they build around that area, and that is it," said Martin.  "For it to actually go around the whole city, it gives people more opportunity to explore the whole town."

"I imagine back then it seemed like a pretty silly notion, but here we are today.  We're very close to having it complete, so it's going to be pretty cool," said Santellana. "The citizens will be able to hop on one section and go all the way around."

Hawkins and Ford are ready to take on the trail when it is finished.

"It is really exciting for me it is because I'm going to be there," said Ford.  "It is definitely a goal that we want to obtain," said Hankins.

Once the project is complete, it will be 24 miles.

Parks and Recreation want to have the Circle Trail completed by 2020.

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